Historic Thematic District regulations will control what we can do with our property
Adoption of the proposed thematic district affects your property rights, including your ability to remodel, repair or add additions to your house. Your house’s resale value is in jeopardy!
You will not be permitted to change the exterior of your home without permission from the Planning Department or the Historic Preservation Commission ("HPC"). It is unlikely you will be able to change any feature it considers a "character-defining feature". This may include nearly all exterior features of your home, including textures, doors, windows, roofs, finishes, landscaping and hardscaping.
The Planning Department/HPC typically insist on all windows being wooden single panels and having real muntins, which are roughly twice as expensive as regular wooden windows and will cause your utility bills to increase. Other repairs or improvements you make may have similar costs imposed upon you!
Planning Department often discourage drought-tolerant landscaping in favor of lawns, but this does not comply with state law.
Lots of Red Tape! Every time you want to paint, build a fence, or change or repair practically anything, you will have to submit a detailed "Certificate of Appropriateness" ("COA"). These extra hurdles will increase costly delays for home repairs and improvements, and are subject to approval at the whim of the unelected Planning Department and HPC. Why make obtaining a permit even MORE time consuming, burdensome, bureaucratic and political than it already is in West Hollywood.
It is highly likely that you will never be allowed to build a new home. Tear-downs in a Thematic District are extremely difficult to get approved. You also will likely not be able to build a second floor, as the HPC and Planning Department consider a "one-story configuration" to be a defining characteristic that can't be altered.
Owners of under-built, older and one-story homes will be negatively impacted by this Thematic District, as many will not be allowed to maximize the value of their properties.
It's UNFAIR! Only 30 out of 160 homes are being considered for historic designation and have to shoulder these excessive restrictions. Don't be fooled though: even the remaining 130 home will face additional restrictions and review before they can alter their properties.
The growth and architectural advancement of our neighborhood would be best served if we attract new families to carry on our rich legacy. Adoption of this Thematic district will do the exact opposite, driving the young and less wealthy away. We will lose our diversity.